Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Ethel Nelson
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000277
00:32 Hello, I'm Shelley Quinn and welcome again to
00:34 Issues and Answers. We're so glad that you've joined
00:36 us today and we have with us a very fascinating and intriguing
00:42 woman. I really appreciate her. Let me just go ahead and
00:45 introduce you to our special guest. I'm referring to
00:49 Ethel Nelson. Ethel, thank you so much for coming back again.
00:52 Thank you. Now you are a pathologist who has spent 40
00:57 years studying the Chinese characters of the ancient
01:01 language. Sounds like I didn't do any
01:04 medicine doesn't it? I'll tell you what. When I'm
01:09 thinking of the work that you've done, I think of Acts 17:26
01:13 where the Bible says, let me just read this. It says: He
01:17 (God) made from one blood all nations of men to settle on the
01:21 face of the earth. We had Ethel with us before and we went into
01:26 a lot of technical details showing some of these Chinese
01:30 characters of the ancient writings and the time lines.
01:34 I thought it would be good just to have Ethel come back and just
01:37 talk to us because you really do have a treasure of knowledge.
01:42 Let's back up for our guests who did not see the program that you
01:47 were here for before and tell them how you became interested
01:53 in the ancient writings of the Chinese. Well it was purely by,
01:59 I think, providence. My husband and I, he's also a physician,
02:04 he's a surgeon, spent 20 years in Bangkok, Thailand in our
02:11 mission hospital there. One day when I had a little time on my
02:16 hands I went to one of our book cases and I was looking at the
02:22 different books and I noticed this one book with no title on
02:26 the spine. I thought, well what's that? I pulled it out and
02:31 it said Genesis and the Chinese, and I thought, ah, no connection
02:36 Where did I get this book? Well I think my husband was given it
02:40 when he went down to Singapore and he just stuck it in the book
02:45 case because he didn't have any interest in it. But I am a very
02:50 curious person. I like to look at things, so I opened the book
02:54 and I started looking at it and I thought, you know, maybe there
02:59 is something here. This book was written by C. H. Cong, a pastor,
03:04 from China. What he was doing was he was finding different
03:12 Bible truths in the Chinese writing. Well this fascinated me
03:20 and that's what started everything.
03:22 Now you have co-authored seven books, a lot on this topic,
03:27 right with others. Who was the gentleman? Was his name Wong
03:32 who you became involved with? Samuel Wong. For about the last
03:37 10 years we've worked together. Should I tell just a little bit
03:43 about his history? Please. Well he was a graduate student in
03:50 China and this was before the democracy movement and he was
03:56 taking a class in English literature and one of his
04:01 professors at the close of every class would put up a
04:06 Chinese character and explain it in a different way than
04:11 Samuel had ever heard it explained before and this
04:15 made Samuel very curious so he went up to the professor after
04:20 the class and he said where did you get this information?
04:24 The professor showed him one of my books and Samuel noticed my
04:30 name I guess at that time and sort of stuck it in his head.
04:36 But very soon after that the democracy movement came along
04:42 and Samuel was one of the leaders in that movement and as
04:48 a result he could no longer study anymore in China. That was
04:54 one of the penalties you might say of taking part in the
05:01 movement. So in time he left China and one day he phoned me
05:08 up because we had a mutual friend, a Chinese friend,
05:14 because Samuel was looking for someone to work with him on
05:19 writing a book. Now Samuel is quite a scholar. He loves books
05:24 and in reading the ancient writings he found things that
05:30 sounded so much like the Bible. He says, you know, I want to
05:36 write a book to compare the ancient Chinese writings with
05:41 the Bible. He says, since you're interested in the Chinese would
05:45 you work with me on that. So I said, Sure, I'd love to. That's
05:50 how we became acquainted.
05:51 So you all have written some books together. Your particular
05:55 interest is in the characters, the hieroglyphics, of the
06:00 ancient Chinese writing. How I first came to know Ethel is I
06:05 saw her on 3ABN and to me it was the most fascinating thing
06:09 because what you showed is in the hieroglyphics of the ancient
06:13 writings of the Chinese people you find the whole gospel.
06:17 Actually we talked about this last program. We find in their
06:22 writings the history that lines up the Chinese chronology with
06:27 the Hebrew chronology and we see that the ancient writings
06:31 of the Chinese people they believed in the God of heaven.
06:35 They believed in the great flood They had all of these things
06:39 even. We looked last time at their history of how they went
06:43 through the dispersion and at the time of the Tower of Babel
06:47 their languages were confused. But now what I want to talk to
06:51 you specifically about is you have a new book out called
06:54 The Quest for the Holy Mountain. This is one you wrote as a
06:58 single author. Where did you get this title and what does this
07:02 mean? Well as I've studied the Chinese
07:09 writing, the mountain symbol keeps coming up. Now it's not
07:15 just one symbol for mountain. Maybe I should go back and
07:21 explain something else and that is somewhat of the structure of
07:25 Chinese writing. You know in our writing we have our A, B, Cs
07:30 which are the foundational, fundamental units, 26 of them.
07:36 Well, the Chinese have the traditional writing which is
07:42 older than the simplified which is used in main land China, but
07:47 in the traditional they have 214 radicals which take the
07:51 place of our A, B, Cs. They are the foundational units.
07:56 It's a very pictorial language. They have that combination of
08:02 these things that paint a picture with every character.
08:05 Now I should mention that there have been modifications of the
08:09 writing through the years because the writing goes back
08:11 about 4000 years. In main land China they have simplified the
08:17 writing further but the traditional has been in
08:22 existence for about 2000 years with the strokes and this sort
08:26 of little square units. But before that the writing is
08:32 called a bronze ware because this was etched on the inner
08:38 lips of bronze ceremonial vessels and it's very different.
08:44 It's pictographic. But before that there is more ancient
08:50 writing called the oracle bone writing and this was inscribed
08:57 either on tortoise shells or on bones, on flat bones, and
09:03 it's called oracle which is divination because they
09:08 used it you might... today we might say well to tell a fortune
09:14 No. These people that used it were believers in God and my
09:19 understanding is that they would write, if they had a problem,
09:24 all the possible solutions to that problem we'll say on a
09:29 shell, a tortoise shell. Then the shell would be heated
09:34 intensely until it cracked and then wherever the crack pointed
09:38 that was the solution.
09:40 Fascinating! Can you think of anything in the Bible that might
09:45 compare with this? The Urim and the Thummim.
09:48 Right. You remember that the high priest had these onyx
09:53 stones on either shoulder and a question would be asked.
09:58 If it was yes the onyx stone on the right would shine. If it was
10:04 no the left shoulder would shine. So you see it's very
10:09 comparable to what the Chinese were using, their so called
10:14 oracle bones for. So now let me get back to this.
10:19 because this is why you believe they are sacred writings.
10:23 Does that make them one of the oldest languages recorded?
10:29 I think absolutely. In fact, I have found what I think is
10:36 perhaps the first reference to the oracle bone writing and the
10:41 date that I have been able to give it is 2222 B.C. So that's
10:46 only 25 years after the dispersion. You see, of course,
10:50 at the time of the dispersion they all had new languages and
10:54 no doubt the writing was invented about that time.
11:00 Now talking about invention; what is the basis of the writing
11:06 the Chinese writing. I think this is really interesting.
11:09 Now, my co-authors and I have been of course talking about the
11:20 radicals which are the A, B, C's that are the simplest forms of
11:26 the writing, the pictograms, and these were combined to form
11:33 larger characters with diverse meanings. But what are the basic
11:42 radicals? It's the garden of Eden story. We've gone through
11:49 all the radicals and we find that about 80% of them are
11:55 related to the garden of Eden story. Now some of the radicals
12:01 will combine, two very simple radicals will combine perhaps
12:07 of maybe even three to form another radical. But in so doing
12:12 they are telling the garden of Eden story.
12:16 And you've even found that in these as you trace this on down
12:22 it tells the story of Jesus.
12:25 Well actually we find the story of Jesus more in the writings
12:32 because anciently for 2000 years there was reference to a coming
12:39 holy man who was coming from the west and many of the ancient
12:45 sages wrote about a coming holy man. So we find the reference to
12:50 Jesus more not in the characters but in the writings.
12:55 In the writings, okay. Now we looked at the characters in the
13:01 last program and it depicts the flood. We talked about the
13:05 chronology of the Hebrew children and the chronology of
13:09 the Chinese people and how they went through the dispersion
13:13 about that same time between the flood and 101 years later when
13:17 the tower of Babel was built. But now I'm coming back to your
13:21 title for your book, Quest for the Holy Mountain. What is this
13:25 quest? Why did you title this book this?
13:28 The reason I brought up about the radicals is because there
13:34 are so many of these simplest basic units of the writing that
13:41 are the mountain. Why was the mountain so important? I found
13:46 that about I guess about 20 of the radicals are depicting the
13:51 mountain in many different ways. And of course being pictographic
13:56 they are little pictures so it gives you an idea of what the
14:02 shape of mountain might be. So this is something that I pursued
14:07 I guess for many years. I've thought about it; what did that
14:11 mountain look like. And of course early on I had no idea
14:16 that it was representing the garden of Eden. Not until a long
14:21 time later did it all begin to fit together and I see that
14:26 this holy mountain is really the garden of Eden itself.
14:31 Is that a new idea to you?
14:34 No, when you think about this and particularly when we think
14:37 about how at the end of time the garden of Eden is
14:42 essentially when God creates new heavens and new earth it's all
14:47 going to be restored. You know it's so fascinating to me, Ethel
14:53 that as you spent so much time in this study how you have found
14:59 that the Chinese who now worship multiple gods were in fact
15:05 monotheistic and they believed in the one God. They told the
15:10 story of the garden of Eden. What is the premise of your book
15:16 Well, actually I'm trying to put together what has gone through
15:23 my mind through the years and can I finally find out what this
15:28 holy mountain is. Well look at the scriptures how many times
15:32 in the scriptures there's reference to the holy mountain.
15:36 The holy mountain is really very important throughout the
15:40 scriptures. What important events took place on holy
15:45 mountains? Oh boy!. Well we can start with
15:48 Abraham and Isaac. Right that's a good place to
15:52 start. That's an incredible story
15:54 because it really was a depiction of what God, Jehovah
15:58 Jairah was going to do when he was going to give his own Son.
16:05 What mountain was that? Mount Moriah. Now Mount Moriah has
16:12 the history of David going there and buying this area to build an
16:24 altar. And eventually do you remember what mountain this
16:30 becomes? Mount Zion. Mount Zion okay. So you see the mountain
16:39 is so central to the Hebrew story and so the mountain also
16:48 is very central to the Chinese story.
16:50 Now let me ask you a question because I remember the first
16:55 time you were on 3ABN. Did not the ancient radicals, the
16:59 characters that are like their A, B, C's, did that not mention
17:03 something about a lamb?
17:05 Oh yes. You know when I just said that Christ wasn't so much
17:09 in the characters, I should have mentioned that he is pictured as
17:15 the lamb. And to me the most beautiful Chinese character is
17:21 the character for righteousness which is the lamb over me.
17:28 Isn't that incredible. I remember that.
17:31 You remember that? Yes. Actually and me or I is composed
17:36 of two other radicals. It's a weapon and a hand, and the hand
17:43 holds the weapon and that is I or me. So I am the one that
17:49 takes the life of the lamb. But the lamb covers me and gives
17:55 me righteousness. Isn't that beautiful?
17:57 That's incredible So that's not the only use of
18:02 the lamb. The lamb is used many times to depict other features
18:07 really of the coming holy man. And I should have mentioned that
18:12 previously. Ethel for 40 years you have
18:18 studied these characters. What has it done to your faith as you
18:23 have seen that the most ancient of the sacred writings perfectly
18:28 line up with what the Bible has to say?
18:31 Well it can't help but increase my faith in the Holy Scriptures.
18:39 It's so remarkable that here you have... The Chinese preceded
18:47 the Hebrews by about 700 years and then the Hebrews came along
18:56 and God led them for almost 2000 about 2000 years until they
19:03 disappointed the Lord and you might say their probation was
19:10 closed as a people. As a nation. But it's interesting that the
19:17 Chinese also were believers in the true God for about 2000
19:22 years. So here you have the Chinese and the Hebrews both
19:28 believing firmly in the heavenly ruler, in God, for about 2000
19:35 years. And you know, to me it's like
19:37 saying we know that the time of Moses, he wasn't there...
19:42 I mean man wasn't created until the sixth day, so the whole
19:48 story of creation had to come to Moses by revelation and
19:53 inspiration. God revealed it to him. He had him write the first
19:57 five books of the Bible telling all of this and sometimes people
20:02 will say, Well how can you trust that Moses wrote down really
20:07 the words of God. But what we see is it actually mirrored what
20:12 God had to tell the Chinese, the Chinese oracles, and as they
20:16 recorded. So they believe in one God. God shared with them and
20:21 inspired them. It's almost like you could say their scriptures
20:25 which line up with our scriptures, the same story,
20:29 and I think that's so fascinating.
20:31 Well, I think that it certainly substantiates Genesis and from
20:41 and entirely different source. You know there was no
20:43 communication what so ever between the Hebrews and the
20:46 Chinese. Besides that, as I have mentioned, the Chinese preceded
20:51 the Hebrews by about 700 years. But yet they have the same story
20:56 and to me that just adds credence to the whole Bible.
21:03 I heard the story of a missionary to Africa who came
21:10 upon a group of people who had never seen anyone outside of
21:15 their village and their little group of people who had in their
21:21 very rudimentary form of communication and writing the
21:27 same story of creation and they knew that there was one God and
21:32 his son. So to me we just see again and again that God did
21:37 reveal himself to man.
21:39 I think as you look over the whole world you'll find that
21:44 almost every group of people have some fragment at least of
21:49 the ancient story of the flood or creation, the garden of Eden,
21:55 different aspects of this story that Moses brought in a written
22:01 form for us. What a fascinating study,
22:04 because so many times too people say to me, You think as
22:11 a Christian you've got the only right religion, but look at the
22:15 great number of people in China. How do you know that the nation
22:18 of China isn't right, that there are multiple gods or there is
22:23 no god. Yet the root of their spiritual relationship began
22:28 looking to the God who created the heavens and the earth.
22:33 So just because what's happening in the United States where we
22:38 see people who are now embracing many different types of
22:42 religions and gods and New Age and all of this it doesn't mean
22:47 that the ones who are holding to the holy writings of old are
22:51 wrong. It just means that people began to go in other directions.
22:56 Another interesting thing with the Chinese, you hear of Taoism
23:04 well actually that comes from the word Dao and as I've looked
23:11 into it, especially the character, that actually is the
23:17 Trinity, the Godhead, the three persons. You find the three
23:22 expressed in many different ways. It's the Dao and this was
23:27 the great god of the Chinese, Dao.
23:41 I think about this and I'm wondering; you've had an
23:46 illustrious career as a pathologist married to a
23:50 surgeon, a missionary in Thailand for 20 years.
23:54 You've done a great work for the Lord right there. But God gave
23:59 you such an interest in research He piqued your curiosity with
24:04 this book. Would you say in your mind that the 40 years that you
24:08 have spent studying this... I don't know how much recognition
24:11 your work has gotten yet, but I believe that God's going to
24:15 get this into the hands of the right people. I wish that every
24:19 person in China could read this. I know there's becoming an
24:23 interest isn't there in China. They're looking back more to
24:27 their historical writings. God could use this. I've always said
24:32 China is that last frontier. If we could bring down the wall.
24:37 You know Matthew 24:14. I think of that verse many times
24:41 Matthew 24:14 Jesus said that the gospel of this kingdom will
24:45 go to the whole world, then the end will come. Well now we've
24:49 got the opportunity. Even as you and I speak, I don't know if
24:54 you know this, Ethel, but as you and I speak this will be going
24:58 into China through 3ABN, one of our 10 satellites and I'm
25:03 praying that this will pique the curiosity of someone and many
25:08 people there who will get this book, read it, and God could
25:14 start a whole revival in China just simply through this work.
25:20 So my question to you, I know you've spent untold hours in
25:25 research on this, would this by in your estimation the greatest
25:31 thing that you've ever worked on?
25:32 Oh, by all means. You know, I know that some people may call
25:40 into question the veracity of this. I'll make an admission.
25:47 I do not speak Chinese. I read some of the characters because
25:52 I've studied them. But you know some people say well you know
25:57 unless you can read and speak Chinese you're not a scholar in
26:02 this area. But I think that there's a different type of
26:08 study that one can do. It's more of an archeological study.
26:16 It's a visual study simply of putting things together and
26:23 certainly to me there's no question but what the early
26:30 Chinese were firm believers in God and they wanted to preserve
26:36 all of this information about the garden of Eden. I think it
26:42 was God inspired. They probably had no idea that this would be
26:47 lost, this idea would be lost for so long. But there it is and
26:53 if the Chinese can pick it up and study it and say you know
26:58 there is something to this after all. I've often thought well
27:03 why have not the Chinese them selves come up with this but I
27:09 think it's probably unfortunately because the gospel
27:14 has not gotten to the Chinese. They don't know the story.
27:18 Oh I know, but won't it be exciting when they hear the
27:21 gospel and then they go back and look at their ancient
27:24 writings and find out the ancient writings support the
27:27 gospel. We're out of time. Thank you, Ethel, so much for coming
27:31 and sharing. Well thank you for having me.
27:33 Well it's been our joy. And for those of you at home, I hope
27:37 this has piqued your curiosity and given you increased faith
27:40 in just knowing how God has shown himself to all men.
27:45 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of the Father
27:48 and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you and your
27:52 family today and throughout eternity.